3,760 new jobs created in businesses supported by the Local Enterprise Offices in 2017 - Fourth consecutive year of employment growth

7th March, 2018

Local Enterprise Week
Pictured from left to right: Greg Swift of the Local Enterprise Offices, Alan Jackson of Qualitas Electronics in Meath, Neil Wisdom from Intellicom in Offaly, Minister Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister Pat Breen T.D., Kelda Clermont from Urban Artisan in Dublin City, Patrick McLaughlin from Silver Strand Rope Works in Donegal and Brendan Flood of Enterprise Ireland. Photocredit: Mark Stedman, Stedman Photography.

Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister Pat Breen welcome 2017 employment and performance figures from Local Enterprise Offices, as they meet start-ups and small business owners during ‘Local Enterprise Week’

LEO Highlights from 2017 show that:

  • 7,135 new jobs (gross) and 3,760 jobs (net) created by LEO backed client companies, with jobs growth across every county.
  • 30,373 people participated in business training programmes.
  • 8,393 mentoring assignments were provided to small business owners to give guidance and advice around key business issues.
  • 1,179 business projects received direct financial assistance.

The results from the Annual Employment Survey, compiled by Enterprise Ireland, show that there are now 37,485 people employed by 7,182 small businesses and start-ups that have received support from the Local Enterprise Offices.

30,373 people participated in 1,891 different training programmes with the LEOs, including ‘Start Your Own Business’ and ‘Management Development’ courses.

8,393 mentoring assignments took place between small business owners and a panel of 713 business mentors in 2017.

A total of 1,179 business projects were approved for direct financial assistance.

The 31 LEOs nationwide, run in partnership by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities, provide a ‘first stop shop’ for the supports available to entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses.

Speaking during ‘Local Enterprise Week,’ Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys and Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen congratulated the Local Enterprise Offices for the support they gave to small businesses across the country and for supporting job creation in every county.

Minister Humphreys said: “Local Enterprise Offices helped many thousands of people last year to start-up or grow their own businesses by delivering a suite of financial, training and information supports across every county and region, resulting in the creation of 7,135 jobs right across the country. This Government has a clear focus on regional jobs and investment, and the LEOs play a crucial role in this effort, particularly through the Regional Actions Plans for Jobs. I am delighted that the job results for 2017 are so strong, and look forward to further collaboration with the LEOs in 2018.”

Minister Breen also welcomed the performance figures, saying: “I want to congratulate the LEOs on another tremendous performance in 2017. In a challenging business environment, LEO clients have contributed substantially to economic development throughout the country, especially outside of the main urban centers. As we celebrate Local Enterprise Week, I want to pay tribute to the achievements of small businesses, micro-enterprises and LEO teams, as they work together, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities, to develop local enterprise opportunities and create sustainable jobs.”

Greg Swift, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Dublin City, speaking on behalf of the Local Enterprise Offices, said: “The key message we would like to get across during Local Enterprise Week is that if you want to either start or grow your own business in 2018, come and talk to your Local Enterprise Office. Through the network of 31 LEO offices in local authorities, we helped more than 30,000 people last year alone through training, mentoring, microfinance loans and direct financial assistance.”

Brendan Flood, Divisional Manager, Regions and Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Ireland said; “As these figures show, LEOs are helping an increasing number of businesses with global ambition to scale up and grow internationally through a range of new supports and programmes. Enterprise Ireland will continue to work closely with the LEOs and our Local Authority partners to achieve balanced growth throughout every region and to help more small businesses prepare for Brexit.”

Speaking on behalf of Local Authorities, Anna-Marie Delaney, Offaly Local Authority Chief Executive and Chair of the CCMA Committee on Economic Development & Enterprise said: “LEOs are playing a pivotal role in local job creation nationwide and this is reflected in very strong performance figures for 2017. I believe that the work of the LEOs, which is being showcased during Local Enterprise Week, complements and enhances the broader economic development remit of the Local Authorities.”

Local Enterprise Offices are hosting over 300 events this week for Local Enterprise Week, which finishes on Friday, March 9th. Event details are available from www.localenterprise.ie

Today’s announcement was made at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation on Kildare Street in Dublin, where Minister Humphreys and Minister Breen met with four small business owners that benefitted from LEO supports in 2017. They included Patrick McLaughlin from Silver Strand Rope Works in Donegal, Kelda Clermont from Urban Artisan in Dublin City, Neil Wisdom from Intellicom in Offaly and Alan Jackson of Qualitas Electronics in Meath.



LEO Annual Employment Data

The jobs figures quoted come from the 2017 LEO Annual Employment Survey, which monitors employment performance amongst micro enterprises that have received direct financial assistance through the LEOs. The full table of employment figures is available below.

All other figures quoted were compiled by the Centre of Excellence in Enterprise Ireland, sourced from the 31 Local Enterprise Offices.


Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs)

The 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) were established in 2014 to provide a ‘first-stop shop’ system of enterprise supports to start-ups and small businesses across the country. Located in the Local Authorities, the LEOs are operated on a partnership basis by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities and their parent Departments - the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

The LEOs provide funding for projects primarily in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sector which over time have the potential to develop into strong export entities. There are three main categories of grant under which direct financial assistance is provided – Priming, Feasibility and Business Expansion. The LEOs also provide training and mentoring support to entrepreneurs and businesses to assist business development and performance.

The LEOs, through appropriate referral, also ensure that people thinking of starting or expanding a business in every part of the country are able to access the full range of State supports provided by different Government bodies – for example Revenue, the Department of Social Protection, the Credit Review Office and the Education and Training Boards – in one easily accessible location within the Local Authority.

Details on all the supports available for small businesses and microenterprises through the 31 LEOs are available at www.localenterprise.ie.


About the entrepreneurs meeting with Minister Humphreys and Minister Breen during Local Enterprise Week:

Silver Strand Rope Works (supported by LEO Donegal)
Company Name: Silver Strand Rope Works Ltd (established in 1990)
Promoter’s Name: Patrick McLaughlin
What the company does: Manufactures rope, string and strapping for domestic and international markets
Business Address: Ballynally, Moville, Co. Donegal
Online information: www.silverstrandropeworks.com
Employees: 8
LEO Supports: Business Expansion Grant

Urban Artisan (supported by LEO Dublin City)
Company Name: Urban Artisan (established in 2015)
Promoter’s Name: Kelda Clermont
What the company does: Manufactures branded superfood snacks and energy balls for the retail sector
Business Address: 71 Camden Street, Dublin 2
Online information: http://www.dublinfoodchain.ie/producer-directory/prepared-foods/company.php?id=39
Employees: 8
LEO Supports: Business Priming Grant

Intellicom (supported by LEO Offaly)
Company Name: Intellicom Ireland Ltd (established in 2005/management buy-out in 2013)
Promoter’s Name: Neil Wisdom
What the company does: Telecommunications provider to companies in Europe
Business Address: Intellicom House, St. Brendan’s Street, Birr, County Offaly
Online information: www.intellicom.io
Employees: 11
LEO Supports: Business Expansion Grant and LEO Innovation Investment Fund

Qualitas Electronics (supported by LEO Meath)
Company Name: Qualitas Electronics (established in 2016)
Promoter’s Name: Alan Jackson
What the company does: Electronics assembly services for technology clients
Business Address: Unit 5, Site 31, Duleek Business Park, Duleek, Co. Meath
Online info: www.qualitaselectronics.ie
Employees: 2
LEO Supports: Business Priming Grant


Local Enterprise Office Annual Employment Survey Results 2017

Local Enterprise Office Annual Employment Survey Results 2017

*FT & PT = Full time and Part time


For more information, interviews and pictures, please contact:

Sarah Bohan

LEO Communications

Enterprise Ireland 

Sarah Bohan

01 7272265 / 087 65 39936

Declan Lee

LEO Communications

Enterprise Ireland 

Declan Lee

01 7272406 / 087 695 7451